As part of my work on the soundtrack for 'There's a Monster in My Piano' for Garlic Theatre I am collecting true stories about, and people's early impressions of, pianos. This has involved sticking a microphone in front of my interviewees and so I am learning the knack of helping them relax while keeping my own mouth shut. An excellent discipline.
Step 1: the piano stool
Step 2: the top of the piano
Step 3: the stage
The music teacher, also a boarding master, was young and keen and when he saw a chalky footprint on the top of his pride and joy he was livid. He determined the shoe size and print pattern (basketball boots were the 'trainer' of the day) and went on a Cinderella-style hunt for the perpetrator. Fortunately the story doesn't have a fairy tale ending. It was a nervous time but I was never caught because:
Step 1: I hid the offending boots at the first rumour of trouble
Step 2: Though tall for the times, I had taken the precaution of growing feet small enough to pass for those of a much younger boy
Step 3: I had had the foresight to be made a prefect and so, as part of the establishment and old enough to know better, I had placed myself beyond suspicion
I have met a number of non-players with piano related tales to tell. If you have a tale to tell, as a pianist or not, do let me know.